Wednesday, 13 March 2019

CANNIBAL TERROR BLU-RAY review

The second of this week's new 88 Films cannibal related releases sees a married couple venture into cannibal country in search of their kidnapped daughter, Flaurence.

Perhaps best known as one of the original video nasties, it's worth pointing out that this film only really made its name onto the list by virtue of having the word 'cannibal' in its title. To be fair, it does also feature cannibals in the film (I'm looking at you, Cannibal Holocaust 2 AKA Green Inferno), but 'Terror' is a bit of a stretch. The film begins with what can only be described as jaunty calypso music, as two thieves masquerading as businessmen (Olivier Matzot & Antonio Mayans) and a buxom woman (Pamela Stanford) decide to kidnap the daughter of a local dignitary and hide her out in a safe house at the edge of a "jungle". When one of the thieves, Mario, decides to rape the wife of the homeowner, they are forced to flee into the neighbouring woodlands inhabited by a tribe of cannibals.

Right from the off this film just seems off. The dubbing of a film from its original language to English can be unavoidably distracting, by why oh why did they choose to dub the little girl's voice with clearly that of a grown woman? Particularly when, in a film that has long stretches with no dialogue, this little girl doesn't ever seem to stop talking whenever she's on screen. Maybe we should be applauding them for avoiding a lazy stereotype, but the casting of young, white Spanish men as the cannibal tribe was a bold choice, or perhaps (more than likely) a helpful budgetary workaround to rope in people who liked the sound of appearing in a movie without really knowing what they were letting themselves in for. Wearing elaborate face paint designs, they look less like your typical cannibal tribe and more like the front row of an Ultimate Warrior tribute wrestling match.

The entire concept is ill conceived, with a number of poorly delivered scenarios constituting what amounts for a plot. For some reason the filmmakers have decided that it would be a good idea to cross cut between a sex scene with no actual bearing to the plot with a vicious rape out in the woods, what dialogue there is is of the standard of "this is right on the edge of cannibal country. They'd love to put you in a soup", and although cannibals are a real phenomenon, this film seems to think they're just better organised zombies. There's debate over the actual amount of involvement from Jess Franco, prolific director and writer of White Cannibal Queen, Zombie Lake and countless other low budget exploitation films, but one would assume he jumped ship fairly early on as even by his standards, this is pretty low grade stuff.

Now, I'm not saying there isn't things to enjoy about this film. For a start, the re-using of actors in multiple roles has to be commended. For example, when one of the main characters gets eaten by the cannibals, the same actor appears 15 minutes later wearing a huge fake handlebar moustache, and in what is one of the bravest filmmaking choices I've ever seen, they re-use the same actor playing the cannibal chief as a different character IN THE SAME SCENE.

This may be an unforgivably dreadful piece of filmmaking, but I'd be lying if I didn't find elements of Cannibal Terror to enjoy out of sheer ridiculousness. If you're a fan of schlocky genre fare, I would imagine this would go down a treat with some friends and the ability to pause, rewind and re-enjoy.

Verdict
1/5

Special Features-
 -That's not the Amazon! - The strange store of the Eurocine cannibal film cycle.
 -Deleted scenes
 -Trailer

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